Feb 23

Mets Matters: Thoughts On Mets Winning Exhibition Opener

THE GAME: Ruben Tejada hit a two-run homer and Collin Cowgill drove in a run with double as the Mets won their exhibition opener, 5-3, over Washington. One game does not a spring training make, but if you’re going to play the games it is better to win them.

WHEELER IMPRESSIVE: Zack Wheeler wowed them in his first appearance of the spring, giving up a walk and hit in two scoreless innings. Wheeler threw mostly fastballs and sliders, the two easiest pitches to throw at the start, and will work more on his secondary pitches later in the spring. Even so, manager Terry Collins – despite Johan Santana’s condition – said Wheeler would likely open the season for Triple-A Las Vegas. The Mets believe they have a keeper in Wheeler, who threw 30 pitches with 19 of them strikes and working in the 94-96 mph., range and need to move him along slowly. He’ll continue to get work, but as spring training progresses and more innings go to the starters, he could get time in minor league or split squad games. Said Wheeler: “There wasn’t really nerves. I was just a little pumped up going out there. After I got settled down, after the first couple of batters, I think everything went well.’’ Translation: Yes, there were nerves.

PARNELL GETS TOUGH SAVE: With Frank Francisco down with elbow soreness, Bobby Parnell becomes the closer. Parnell worked the ninth and got out of trouble caused by an infield hit and error. I’d much rather see Parnell get in and out of trouble than blow hitters away. The more acclimated he becomes to working out of pressure situations the better. The word on Francisco is he might pick up a baseball Monday, but it would be several weeks before he’s throwing in games. The chances are very good he’ll open the season on the DL and Parnell will be the closer. Jeurys Familia will get a chance to close in a split-squad game Sunday against Houston in Kissimmee.

FELICIANO SIDELINED: Lefty reliever Pedro Feliciano was diagnosed with a heart condition and will be required to wear a monitor to measure an irregular heartbeat. Collins told reporters: “My understanding is he has a heart condition that could possibly be very serious. So that’s why we’re being very, very careful with him. Until we get further results on some of the tests he took in New York, he’s not to be on the field.’’ There remains the distinct possibility this could be the end of Felicano’s career.

NOTES: Shaun Marcum had a rough outing, giving up three runs on four hits, including a two-run homer to Chris Snyder. Marcum said he was having mechanical problems and pushing his change-up. … Somehow, the Mets still think they can get four starts for Santana and have him ready for the Opening Day. What’s the big rush? … Jenrry Mejia will start Tuesday against St. Louis. … Daniel Murphy is working out, but hasn’t been cleared to hit.

ON DECK: I’ll have my Sunday Column for you tomorrow morning. Have a great night.

 

Feb 23

Mets Lineup Against Washington; Notebook

Here’s today’s lineup and some thoughts about it for the Mets’ exhibition opener against Washington:

Kirk Nieuwenhuis, cf

Ruben Tejada, ss

David Wright, 3b

Ike Davis, 1b

Marlon Byrd, rf

Lucas Duda, lf

John Buck, c

Justin Turner, 2b

Jordany Valdespin, dh

Shaun Marcum, rhp

LINEUP THOUGHTS: Zack Wheeler, Cory Mazzoni, Jeurys Familia and Darin Gorski will also pitch for the Mets. I like that Wheeler pitching in relief. Yes, it’s only an exhibition game, but there are still nerves involved. No sense adding extra pressure. … Marcum should get two innings or roughly 30 pitches to start. He’s the projected fifth starter. … The first four in the batting order are as I suggested several days ago. Notice how Terry Collins separated Ike Davis and Lucas Duda with Marlon Byrd. It’s important to separate the two strikeout machines. … The spring training objectives is for starting pitchers to make six starts and compile 30 innings. Hitters need around 50 to 60 at-bats.

METS NOTEBOOK: First baseman Rhyne Hughes was signed to a minor league contract and will report to the minor league camp. Hughes hit 13 with 56 RBI in 266 at-bats for the Double-A Bowie. … Jenrry Mejia is in camp, delayed over a week with a visa issue.

Feb 21

Mets 2013 Promotional Schedule

The following is the Mets’ press release on their promotional schedule for the season, and yes, it includes bobblehead dolls and Banner Day.

 

METS ANNOUNCE 2013 PROMOTIONAL SCHEDULE

 Nearly 400,000 Giveaways for Fans of All Ages

 David Wright (June 30), Dwight Gooden (July 21) and Tom Seaver (August 25)

Join Ron Darling (April 21) and John Franco (May 25) in All-Star Bobblehead Series

Single Game Tickets Go on Sale Friday, March 1 at Mets.com and (718) 507-TIXX

 

FLUSHING, N.Y., February 21, 2013 – The New York Mets today announced the promotional schedule for the 2013 season at Citi Field. The Mets will give away nearly 400,000 items to fans of all ages highlighted by the All-Star Bobblehead Series featuring Ron Darling (April 21), John Franco (May 25) David Wright (June 30), Dwight Gooden (July 21) and Tom Seaver (August 25) and special events including Banner Day (May 11) and Fireworks Nights (July 3).  Single game tickets go on sale Friday, March 1 at Mets.com and (718) 507-TIXX.

Highlights of the 2013 season include:

ALL-STAR RELATED GIVEAWAYS

 Mets All-Star Bobblehead Series – The first 25,000 fans in attendance can collect a figurine depicting an iconic Mets All-Star:

·         Ron Darling presented by Citi – Sunday, April 21 vs. the Washington Nationals at 1:10 p.m.

·         John Franco presented by GEICO – Saturday, May 25 vs. the Atlanta Braves at 7:15 p.m.

·         David Wright presented by Verizon – Sunday, June 30 vs. Washington at 1:10 p.m.

·         Dwight Gooden presented by Gold’s Horseradish – Sunday, July 21 vs. the Philadelphia Phillies at 1:10 p.m.

·         Tom Seaver presented by Toyota – Sunday, August 25 vs. the Detroit Tigers at 1:10 p.m.

 Mets All-Star Gnome presented by Pepsi – The Mets will celebrate the return of the Major League Baseball All-Star Game to Flushing by giving away an All-Star gnome to the first 25,000 fans in attendance at the Tuesday, July 4 Mets-Arizona Diamondbacks game at 1:10 p.m.

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Feb 20

Mets Prospect Cesar Puello Linked To PEDs

This is a good way to get a career started. Mets outfield prospect Cesar Puello is linked to Anthony Bosch’s biogenesis clinic in South Florida, joining such luminaries as Alex Rodriguez, Ryan Braun, Melky Cabrera and former Met prospect Fernando Martinez.

In an e-mail statement, the Mets said: “Because of the ongoing investigation, we have no comment. We refer all questions to Major League Baseball.’’

Puello was injured for much of 2012 while playing for Single-A St. Lucie, and Martinez, you’ll recall, was frequently injured during his unsuccessful tenure with the Mets.

FRANCISCO TO THROW: Reliever Frank Francisco could begin throwing this weekend. He is down with elbow inflammation. If Francisco opens the season on the disabled list, which remains a distinct possibility, it could create a spot for submariner Greg Burke.

NOTEBOOK: Daniel Murphy received a cortisone injection yesterday in New York and is expected to be out seven to ten days. … If Pedro Felciano shows he has something left he could join Josh Edgin as a lefty in the bullpen. Terry Collins feels limited with only one lefty reliever. … The Mets have an intrasquad game Friday and start the exhibition schedule Saturday against Washington.

Sorry for the short post, I’ll have something else for you around noon. Have a great day.

Feb 19

Mets Single Game Tickets To Go On Sale

Single-game tickets go on sale March 1 at 10 a.m., at Mets.com or calling (718) 507-TIXX.

Nice to know, but I wonder why couldn’t they have gone on sale earlier? I realize the need to sell full-season and partial-season ticket packages, but I think having them go on sale at Christmas would be a perfect time and make for a practical gift.

To me, there’s no sense in waiting. Once the schedule is determined, open up the phone lines.

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